When academics put their minds together the results can be fantastic. Just think of all the innovation and technological advances that have been made in the past century alone.
Then again, every once in awhile, the common folk gets to finally feel on par with the brainiacs.
That is the case with a recent decision by UNC-Charlotte to adopt the UNC-Chapel Hill effort to ban the term “freshman.” You see, the term is considered derogatory and sexist and terribly offensive to people looking for more gender inclusive language to be used in our civilized day and age.
This could have wide-spread ramifications to all of us who attended an institution of higher learning. What do I call my bachelor’s degree? I’m leaning towards “Unmarried Person’s Certificate,” but that just doesn’t roll off the tongue. Perhaps I’ll discuss this with my Personager at work. As a human – oops, we might have to scratch that term, too – let’s call us homo sapiens from henceforth to keep the offense to a minimum.
And now I lost my train of thought!
There are just certain things that I don’t get where the angst comes from. We are now going to have to manufacture, or to be PC – create a whole new lexicon of verbiage just to satisfy a few people getting caught up in semantics. Pretty soon the juniors are going to be upset that their name has second class connotations and the seniors are going to feel like they are senile and aged. We don’t need them getting their Depends in a wad and turn into maniacs, er I mean “upset fourth-year students.”
I think a lot of times we imagine offense when none is taken. School officials are making the move to show they are “committed to providing an inclusive and welcoming environment for all members of our community.” Have people really complained about not feeling welcomed because they are freshmen?
Call me harsh, but I might use that as a test of whether or not a student is worthy to grace my hallowed halls. Can’t hack being called a freshman? What are you going to do when you get a “D” in Advanced Calculus, hang Isaac Newton in effigy? Are you going to boycott the classroom discussions of Manifest Destiny because of the gender implications?
In the efforts to “protect” students from this insensitive gender gap, we actually make them less educated by eliminating vocabulary. Now that’s something I want to hang over my mantle, um, I mean “fireplace shelf.”